Billboard and Pandora have announced that data from the popular streaming service will now be used to help determine the chart position of songs on Billboard's charts. The inclusion is effective immediately, and has already resulted in some significant chart moves for several tracks.
Billboard has long been considered the bible of the music industry, and remains the go to source for song chart rankings in the digital era. Whereas in the past, charts were composed solely based on combined physical unit sales data along with radio airplay, Billboard has changed with the times and now incorporates digital download sales and streaming data into its chart algorithms.
Billboard Charts Incorporate Streaming Data Now Including Pandora
Billboard charts already reflect data from various on demand streamers such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon, and SoundCloud, and video on-demand platforms YouTube (including Vevo on YouTube) and VidZone, as well as programmed streamers Slacker, Google Radio, Napster, and AOL Radio. Now, Billboard charts will use exclusive data from the biggest programmed streamer of them all, Pandora.
"Billboard's unrivaled charts are the definitive source for ranking music popularity. For decades, the charts have acted as a place where both artists measure success and fans discover music," said John Amato, co-president of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group. "Close to 80 million music lovers listen to Pandora every month and we look forward to bringing our brands together to incorporate Pandora's data into our charts."
Billboard will use the Pandora streaming data to calculate the seminal Hot 100 chart, along with genre based rankings on the following charts: Hot Country Songs, Hot Rock Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Hot Christian Songs, and Hot Gospel Songs.
Pandora Streams Impact Billboard Hot 100
We recently reported the results of a survey, which concluded that Pandora was the most listened to music streaming source for all music listeners in 2016, with 28 percent of total streams. The new Billboard chart which includes the Pandora streaming data show positive impact for 35 Hot 100 songs, and nine songs jump five places or more using the new algorithm, including Rob $tone's "Chill Bill," featuring J. Davi$ and Spooks, Bebe Rexha's "I Got You" and Rihanna's "Sex With Me."
Despite the immediate impact of the Pandora data on the Hot 100 chart, the programmed streamer along with its counterparts are not weighted as heavily as on demand streamers like Spotify and Apple Music, where listeners actively choose the songs they listen to. In fact, Billboard also publishes separate, specific charts that specifically rank the most listened to songs streamed on demand in various genres.